Total CEO Denies 'Sealed Deal' with Iran for South Pars Devt

North and South Pars Fields
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According to a report from Dow Jones Newswires, Total's Chief Executive Officer has denied that the French oil giant and Iran are signing a deal before the end of March for the next phase of development at the massive South Pars gas field.

The report noted that Iranian media had announced the news last Wednesday. Seifollah Jashnsaz, general manager of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), reportedly told local media that Iran would sign the $5 billion contract with Total before the end of the current Iranian year, which ends on March 20, 2009.

"If it was true I would know about it," Total's CEO, Christophe de Margerie, told media in New York. "I don't know why they made this announcement. We continue to negotiate with them."

According to a report issued last week from Xinhau News Agency, Yves-Louis Darricarrere, head of the Total's exploration and production, confirmed that "Total is still in negotiations with Iran on a major gas deal, but talks are moving very slowly."

South Pars

Situated offshore the Iranian border in the Persian Gulf and extending from Qatar's giant North Field, South Pars is notably the largest gas field in the world with development dissected into 24 phases, each of which will cost around $1 billion.  Recoverable reserves in South Pars are estimated at 14 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and 18 billion barrels of condensates. Once development is complete, South Pars is expected to have a daily production rate of 820 million cubic meters of gas a day.



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